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Fair use v. Falling in line with Harry Potter

There’s a terrific article in the NYT about Lessig’s Fair Use Project’s involvement in defending a small publisher who brought out a Harry Potter encyclopedia. When the publisher went from Web to print, and from free to for-money, the Potter folks sued, saying it’s unfair. The author, Joe Nocera, says:

For, as Mr. Lessig points out, anybody who owns a computer can now create content that is based on someone else’s creation. Indeed, we do all the time, by posting content on Facebook, on YouTube, everywhere on the Internet. If the creation of that content is deemed to be a violation of copyright, “then we have a whole generation of criminals,” said Mr. Lessig — which is terribly corrosive to society. But if it is fair use, as it ought to be, then it becomes something quite healthy — new forms of free expression and creativity.

He concludes on quite an optimistic note. [Tags: ]

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